HomeBlogREVIEWToshiba UK31 (50UK31) overview: Loads of options however restricted efficiency

Toshiba UK31 (50UK31) overview: Loads of options however restricted efficiency

Regardless of being the flagship entry within the firm’s 2021 TV lineup, the Toshiba UK31 is an eminently inexpensive choice for these looking for a 4K HDR tv.

It sports activities a design and stage of construct high quality that’s about what you’d count on at its worth level however its massive attracts are assist for each Dolby Imaginative and prescient and Dolby Atmos, together with built-in Amazon Alexa.

Different strengths embrace respectable picture element, low enter lag and an efficient, Linux-based sensible platform. Nonetheless, slender viewing angles, restricted brightness and color gamut protection and disappointing image accuracy stop it from standing out in a crowded market.

Toshiba UK31: Key specs

Display sizes out there:43in 43UK31
50in 50UK31
58in 58UK31
65in 65UK31
Panel sort:VA-type LCD
Decision:4K/UHD (3,840 X 2,160)
Refresh fee:60Hz
HDR codecs:HDR, HLG, Dolby Imaginative and prescient
Audio enhancement:Dolby Atmos
HDMI inputs:3 x HDMI 2.0
Freeview Play compatibility:Sure
Tuners:Terrestrial, satellite tv for pc
Gaming options:Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM)
Wi-fi connectivity:802.11bgn (2.4GHz)
Good assistants:Amazon Alexa built-in, works with Google Assistant
Good platform:Toshiba Good Portal

Toshiba UK31 LED LCD overview: What you must know

The Toshiba UK31 is a 4K (3,840 x 2,160) HDR sensible LED LCD TV that is available in display sizes starting from 43in to 65in. Toshiba is fairly obscure in relation to detailed specs, however this Vestel-built TV seems to make use of a 60Hz VA panel with a direct LED backlight.

The UK31 runs the newest model of the Toshiba Good Portal and helps HDR10, Dolby Imaginative and prescient and HLG. There’s additionally Dolby Atmos and built-in Amazon Alexa, together with an honest collection of streaming apps and Freeview Play, with the latter guaranteeing a full complement of TV catch-up companies.

Toshiba UK31 LED LCD overview: Worth and competitors

On the time of writing, you should purchase the 50in Toshiba UK31 for £387, which is a good worth for what’s the model’s high mannequin. It’s a worth not dissimilar to a lot of the competitors, with Hisense, TCL and extra established manufacturers like LG and Samsung all providing comparable alternate options.

Just like the UK31, Hisense’s A6G helps each Dolby Imaginative and prescient and Dolby Atmos and has Alexa built-in. Along with an identical set of specs, the A6G retails for a really related worth: it’s out there for £379 within the lead-up to Black Friday.

For those who’d want one of many extra established manufacturers, the 50in LG UP75 will set you again £439. We reviewed the 43in mannequin in October 2021 and had been taken by its picture accuracy, HDR tone-mapping and WebOS sensible platform however it did not ship in some key areas.

Our favorite inexpensive 4K LCD TV of 2021 to this point is the Samsung AU9000, which sports activities a design that belies its price ticket, nice gaming options and spectacular SDR and HDR photographs. It’s costlier than the aforementioned choices, nevertheless, with the 50in mannequin costing £599. For those who’re prepared to downsize barely, the 43in model will be picked up for a extra wallet-friendly £429.

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Toshiba UK31 LED LCD overview: Design, connections and management

The Toshiba UK31 is pretty pedestrian when it comes to its design, utilizing a easy 10mm bezel and equally nondescript stand, with each completed in gloss black. The stand measures 545 x 250mm and affords 60mm of clearance for these planning to make use of a soundbar. For those who’d fairly wall mount, the UK31 is suitable with a 200 x 200 VESA bracket.

The 50in mannequin measures 1,129 x 81 x 655mm (WDH) with out the stand and weighs in at 12.5kg with the stand hooked up. The largely plastic development displays the value level and is pretty customary for a TV that, whatever the model identify on the entrance, is definitely manufactured by the Turkish TV big Vestel.

There’s a mixture of rear and side-facing connections, with the latter situated 33cm from the sting of the display. In consequence, you shouldn’t see any cables poking out of the facet when viewing the TV from the entrance.

These side-facing connections are composed of two HDMI 2.0 inputs, a USB-A port, an aerial socket and a CI (widespread interface) slot. Going through rearwards you’ll discover an optical digital output, an Ethernet port, a satellite tv for pc connector, a headphone jack, and a 3rd HDMI 2.0 enter. The one wi-fi connection is 2.4GHz Wi-Fi.

All three HDMI 2.0 inputs assist 4K at 60Hz, HDR10, HLG, Dolby Imaginative and prescient, ALLM (auto low latency mode), HDCP 2.2, and CEC. One of many HDMI inputs additionally helps eARC (enhanced audio return channel). Nonetheless, this TV doesn’t assist 4K at 120Hz, VRR (variable refresh fee) or HDR10+.

As is commonly the case with Vestel-built remotes, the included controller is definitely fairly good. Completed in silver and black, the zapper is comfy to carry and simple to function with one hand. All the required buttons are current and proper, together with direct entry keys for Netflix, Prime Video and Freeview Play.

Toshiba UK31 LED LCD overview: Good TV platform

The Toshiba UK31 runs an working system known as the Toshiba Good Portal, which is predicated across the sensible platform developed by Vestel. It’s really fairly good, with a clear person interface and intuitive navigation. Due to quad-core processing, it’s additionally pretty responsive, making the sensible portal fast and slick to make use of.

The system is predicated round a launcher bar that seems alongside the underside of the display when the house secret’s pressed on the distant management. You possibly can then use the up and down buttons to maneuver via a sequence of choices: House, Search, TV, Settings, and Sources. Most of those are pretty self-explanatory, though TV and House provide extra options.

The TV choice supplies entry to Freeview Play, the EPG (digital programme information), channels, timers and recordings (with an hooked up storage machine). Freeview Play additionally consists of all of the UK TV catch-up companies, that are built-in into the EPG, permitting you to go backwards within the timeline and watch programmes you’ve missed.

The House web page itself affords a wide variety of streaming companies, together with Netflix, Prime Video, YouTube, Britbox, Rakuten TV and Twitch. Nonetheless, there are a number of key companies lacking, akin to Disney+, Apple TV+, and Now. The companies which can be there are fast to load, simple to navigate and provide 4K, HDR10, Dolby Imaginative and prescient and Dolby Atmos the place applicable.

Amazon Alexa is built-in and in April 2022, Toshiba launched a brand new ambient display mode known as Alexa House Display on its Alexa built-in fashions, together with the UK31. This mode is successfully a customisable screensaver that means that you can entry hands-free Alexa capabilities at any time and have information just like the time, climate and calendar occasions displayed onscreen when the UK31 is on standby. For those who’re not a fan of Alexa, the UK31 additionally works with Google Assistant, making it a wise TV with a level of voice management.

Toshiba UK31 LED LCD overview: Picture high quality

The Toshiba UK31 seems to make use of a VA panel, primarily based on the restricted viewing angles and native distinction ratio. The previous means you must be sat in entrance of the TV for the perfect picture, whereas the latter measures 3,400:1, which is affordable for an LCD show. This TV makes use of a direct LED backlight, and whereas there’s no type of native dimming, the display uniformity is definitely fairly good.

The TV ships in Pure mode for SDR that, unsurprisingly, is inaccurate in comparison with the business requirements, with an extra of blue within the greyscale. The Cinema Night time mode is best, and whereas blue nonetheless dominates the greyscale, the gamma tracks round 2.3, and there’s a median DeltaE (error) of three for all the colors, reflecting affordable color accuracy.

The SDR image efficiency is nice, however to keep away from clipping, flip the Distinction setting right down to 82, and likewise flip the Sharpness right down to zero or the image will look overly processed. Talking of which, Toshiba’s Tru Image Engine know-how within reason efficient and consists of Tru Decision, which does an honest job of upscaling decrease decision content material to match the 4K panel.

The Tru Contour characteristic can be utilized to minimise banding with closely compressed content material, and whereas Tru Micro Dimming is meant to enhance the distinction ranges, since this makes use of processing fairly than precise dimming zones, the blacks stay extra of a really darkish gray. As for the Tru Blue management, apart from being the title of a Madonna album, its objective stays a thriller.

Movement dealing with is nice, given the inherent limitations of LCD as a show know-how and the panel’s 60Hz refresh fee. In consequence, there’s some blurring on quick movement like sport, however the Tru Movement characteristic provides body interpolation. This improves perceived movement decision, and the UK31 handles 24p content material with out introducing judder, permitting films to retain a film-like high quality.

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Toshiba UK31 LED LCD overview: HDR efficiency

The Toshiba UK31 helps HDR10, HLG (hybrid log-gamma) and Dolby Imaginative and prescient, however as is often the case with TVs at this worth level, the height luminance is pretty restricted. The UK31 hits round 335cd/m² on each a ten% window and a full-field sample, no matter which mode you choose, so that you’re higher off selecting the extra correct Cinema mode.

The color gamut protection can be restricted, with the UK31 struggling to cowl the entire of BT.709, not to mention the bigger DCI-P3 customary used for HDR. Within the extra correct Cinema mode, the Toshiba is just capable of cowl 81% of DCI-P3, leading to a median DeltaE of round 19, which is pretty excessive and means colors aren’t reproduced very precisely. On the plus facet, the TV rendered the positive element in native 4K content material with ability.

Regardless of these limitations, the HDR efficiency can nonetheless be good if the TV precisely tone maps the HDR content material to its inherent capabilities. That is demonstrated completely by utilizing the demo sequence on the Spears & Munsil 4K Blu-ray. This has the identical footage in numerous codecs, permitting for direct comparability of the general HDR efficiency.

The UK31 was clearly clipping HDR10 content material, whether or not it was graded at 1,000, 4,000 or 10,000 nits. Nonetheless, watch precisely the identical footage with Dolby Imaginative and prescient and the outcomes are very completely different. The format’s dynamic metadata exactly maps the HDR to the show’s capabilities, producing photographs freed from any clipping, with saturated however natural-looking colors.

It’s a disgrace that extra price range fashions (and fairly a number of costly ones) don’t embrace Dolby Imaginative and prescient as a result of it actually makes a distinction with HDR on much less succesful TVs. The UK31 means that you can get pleasure from Dolby Imaginative and prescient content material on Netflix and supported 4K discs, which is an enormous plus at its worth level.

To check the Toshiba UK31 we used Portrait Shows Calman color calibration software program.

Toshiba UK31 LED LCD overview: Gaming

The Toshiba UK31 isn’t an excellent selection for next-gen gaming as its panel solely has a refresh fee of 60Hz, the HDMI ports are the entire 2.0 selection and there’s no assist for VRR. Nonetheless, in case you’re utilizing an older console or not a stickler for the newest options, it’ll nonetheless do the job.

There’s assist for Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM), enter lag is simply 10.3ms in recreation mode and as an LCD panel, there’s no hazard of picture retention or display burn irrespective of what number of lots of of hours the Name of Obligation HUD stays on the display.

Gaming efficiency is usually good, with the low enter lag producing a responsive and fulfilling expertise. The 4K photographs look detailed, and movement is pleasingly easy. The restricted color gamut nonetheless appears suitably punchy, however the poor tone-mapping with HDR10 does end in a bent to clip a few of the highlights.

Toshiba UK31 LED LCD overview: Sound high quality

The Toshiba UK31 makes use of a pair of down-firing audio system, every of which has 10W of built-in amplification. The TV can’t decode DTS, however consists of a variety of self-explanatory sound modes: Music, Film, Speech, Basic, Flat, and Person. Nonetheless, the efficiency is clearly restricted by the dimensions and site of the audio system, together with the overall lack of energy.

In consequence, there’s little in the way in which of bass extension, and the restricted soundstage tends to sound brittle at increased volumes. Whereas the inclusion of Dolby Atmos can’t work miracles, it does at the least give the audio a higher feeling of presence with supporting soundtracks. Nonetheless, if you need good audio high quality, you must actually contemplate investing in a soundbar.

Toshiba UK31 LED LCD overview: Verdict

The Toshiba UK31 displays the strengths and weaknesses of a TV in its worth bracket. Image efficiency is usually hindered by the inherent limitations of the panel, picture accuracy could possibly be higher and the HDR10 tone mapping is vulnerable to clipping. Nonetheless, when arrange accurately the ensuing image is completely watchable, particularly when having fun with Dolby Imaginative and prescient content material.

The inclusion of Dolby Atmos may be very welcome too, built-in Amazon Alexa will enchantment to these invested within the Alexa ecosystem and assist for Google Assistant means the 2 hottest strategies of voice management are lined. Toshiba’s sensible platform is one other optimistic, proving each efficient and simple to navigate, however the absence of a few key streaming companies might show a dealbreaker for these looking for a really complete collection of content material choices.

In the end, the Toshiba UK31 fails to actually stand out in a really crowded price range 4K market. It is obtained lots going for it, however the equally priced Hisense A6G has the sting when it comes to construct high quality and design. And in case your price range permits, you would be a lot better off forking out barely extra for the wonderful Samsung AU9000.



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